The last few days have been a long waiting game, sat in the team hotel and just watching the time slowly tick by. We've been keeping busy with some rides in the morning and then media obligations in the afternoon, followed by massage and dinner. On Thursday things ramped up a bit with the presentation and then meeting with the Tour but you can feel the excitement is starting to build, even if this Tour has a different feel to it.
A big moment for me was when I received my Tour de France book. You get these at every race you do but this one is more special than all the others. It's basically a rider's bible for the next few weeks. It tells you what the profiles are like on each stage, the climbs, the sprints and every little detail you need to know.
I'm actually just back in my room after a quick meeting over equipment and I'm going to study the road book in a bit more detail right after I've finished my first blog.
I'll be sharing with Niklas Eg for the next few weeks and we're actually two of eight Danes in the race. It's a nice little club, especially considering the small country we're from. Having eight riders in the biggest race in the world is pretty impressive but I've known Niklas for a long, long time. We both started racing together when we were eight and he's a perfect roommate. He's super quiet and spends most of his time in bed so there's no stress. I'm probably the tidier one of us when it comes to our suitcases and kit. He's not messy, don't get me wrong, but his suitcase looks like an explosion has gone off, from time to time.
As for the Grand Depart, it's just a dream to be here for my first Tour de France. Being part of this race was something I always hoped for when I was growing up, and to do it in the rainbow jersey just makes it even more crazy. It just doesn't feel real. I'm trying hard not to think about too much tomorrow. Maybe they'll call me and I'll be asked to start near the front, which will be nice because I'll already be towards the head of the race but if they don't it's no big deal. I'll still enjoy the feelings.
Stage 1 could be one for me. It's a hard stage but a lot depends on how we take the climb. For me, the harder the better because we might be able to drop some of the sprinters but it's far too early to think about the finish and what could happen in the final. All I want to focus on right now is lining up and turning the pedals.
For stage 2 we just have to see how it goes. Maybe it's just a bit too hard for me on paper but I wouldn't tear it out of the book just yet. That's the thing about a Grand Tour - every stage is an opportunity, if not for me then for one of my other teammates. If you start dismissing stages then you're immediately on the back foot. I also have a pretty important job when it comes to helping others. We have Richie [Porte] and Bauke [Mollema] in the team and they're both here for a good GC result. I'm going to do my best to help him achieve that goal.
For the sprints, we have Edward [Theuns], Jasper [Stuyven] and me. We're all very strong but I think we'll swap things around based off who feels good. We actually communicate really well between us and we'll share the work. We're not one of the big lead-outs but we can pick our lines and choose our moments. With a bit of luck, we can do something special.
I'm confident for the next few weeks. I've done some good work at home and my stage win in Poland showed that I'm on the right track. I feel fresh and now all I have to do his find my road book. I think it's there. Just under Niklas' suitcase.
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